Outa Ware Water Gear

Outa Ware Water Gear

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Kent Orms

Ok, you’ve made the big investment and bought a boat. Then you had to buy paddles, maybe a sprayskirt or a frame, then a helmet and a PFD. Your wallet’s thin enough to shave with, but you still need outerwear. Something durable and comfortable, something inexpensive but bomber. Enter Outa Ware of Bozeman. Owner Andy Tuller has been making industrial outdoor clothing since 1990. Andy designs, sews, and field-tests all his clothes personally. He guarantees everything he makes for the life of the garment and will even buy it back if you don’t like it.

I took the Kaky River jacket and pants on an early season boat trip through the Beartrap. The jacket has elastic cuffs and a beefy YKK #5 main zipper and two large zippered mesh pockets. The river was calm that day but when I row, everyone tends to get wet. A whole day at the helm and the fabric still beaded up water into little pools that would just run off – pretty good for a jacket that’s not technically waterproof. The arms were a little short when I was rowing, but I have ape arms and other testers didn’t have any problems. The hood fit well without sticking out too much and didn't catch much air during heavy gusts.

The pants have the same comfortable, no frills, bomber construction. The knees are articulated, and like all the critical wear points, they’re double-reinforced. The ankle cuffs can be drawn tight with little toggles and the waist sucked up with the webbing belt. The sizing seemed normal, I’m a medium-build guy and the medium fit me well; but they come in any size you need, from XS to 7XL. Despite the heavy-duty river guide construction, the gear remains remarkably lightweight and agile. Our ride had to leave early, and walking the two or three miles back to the car in the Kaky River pants was still comfortable. Despite the name, they’re not just for boaters. I use them mountain biking and hiking now, too. In warmer weather, try Outa Ware’s great Kaky River shorts, the summer version of the industrial, functional motif.

If you grab one of Outa Ware’s excellent river bags before the season, you might never use another gear bag again. Six hundred denier "Magnum 1" polyester, quick-drying mesh and two long, webbing handles that make portages a cinch. When you go to buy a piece of Outa Ware just make sure you get the exact color and size that you want (Andy takes custom orders of all kinds), because they’re not wearing out any time soon.

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